Give tax relief to investors in social enterprises, sector tells ministers

Blears, Mandelson, Purnell and Byrne hear ideas at social enterprise summit

The Government should consider giving tax relief to people who put money into social investment, social entrepreneurs told a group of top ministers.

It was one of the suggestions put to community secretary Hazel Blears, business secretary Lord Mandelson, work and pensions secretary James Purnell, and Cabinet Office minister Liam Byrne by the heads of about 20 social enterprise organisations at a meeting in London this week.

They were meeting to discuss the role of social enterprise in the future economy at a summit organised by the Cabinet Office.

Delegates offered a list of suggestions for ministers about what social enterprise could offer the country and what the Government could do to improve the environment for social entrepreneurs.

Among the proposals were tax relief for investors who channel cash into social investment, payments for people on benefits who find work in community businesses and a system that would allow employees to take over failing businesses and make them into social enterprises.

Delegates also told ministers they wanted to see more support for mentoring and training social entrepreneurs.

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